Monday, January 30, 2017

Dancing girls - a concertina book in progress

My last few posts have been about lifebook 2017, but I'm also trying to get some work done for a group exhibition I'll be taking part in in April.

Here is one of my works in progress, which will hopefully become a small concertina book

The first two pages finished.

Two more girls in progress.

Some backgrounds.

When I  started out I was thinking of those paper dolls you cut out of folded paper and they open out like a chain all holding hands. I was also thinking about paper dolls with paper outfits that we played with as kids. Once the pages are done I still have to work out what will go on the back and how to make the covers, so there's still a way to go!!

I took a break from lifebook this week as the lesson didn't appeal to me, each leson is separate so you can do as many or few as you like - it's nice not to feel that pressure to do it all.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Lifebook week 3 - self portrait

This weeks lesson with Misty Mawn, called the person I know best, was a self portrait in acrylics. It was a real challenge on many levels. The first step was to do a pencil sketch from a photo.

Then to do a version in acrylics using a limited palette of red, yellow, blue, white and brown - it was tricky mixing the skin tones, I usually use yelow ochre in mine, and the turned out a bit hot.

The third step was to work back into it experimentally, in bold colour, in a sense to remake yourself.

So one of the challenges of the lesson was vulnerability - to be face to face with yourself, the lines and imperfect features, and then to post that to the facebook group - I think for many of us it took a bit of courage. The other challenge was to destroy what you've made - to take that third step and work back into a finished painting, to deal with that fear of ruining it so that you can get to something (hopefully) better, richer, more interesting.

Henri Matisse The Green Line 1905

The remaking of my painting is loosely based on the Matisse portrait 'The Green Line' - though my colours are not as wild as his!!  I do love how the original self portrait isn't completely lost, and comes through as underpainting in places. I wouldn't have got to this result without the inspiration of seeing other people's portraits online which inspired me to just jump in and have a go.

I'm looking forward to what next week brings.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Life book week 2 - cards and hummingbirds

Just a quick hello to show you my week 2 pieces for Lifebook. There were 2x bonus lessons this week, so they were relatively quick and easy to do with just one video to watch for each.

The first was affirmation cards - I have only made 4 so far, other people have made whole decks of 52 !! It's a great way to experiment with materials and then turn it into something, so I'm really hoping to get back to this and make more when I have time!

The second lesson was a hummingbird, the tail and wing feathers are collaged on and there are affirmations written on the back of the feathers (not visible).

This weeks lesson has just arrived so I'll be settling in to watch some videos this evening!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hello 2017, hello lifebook

2017 has got off to a creative start! The first Lifebook 2017 lessons arrived on the 1st - a beautiful guided meditation, a warm up lesson, and a full lesson. The pieces are about setting your intention for the year, the negative things you want to leave behind and positive things you want to carry forward with you.

The main lesson was 5x 40 minute videos, one of the big challenges for me will be to slow down and allow myself the time to watch and then do the artwork. This week I've been on holiday from work, so I  watched a video a day and worked on the piece each day, but I wonder how I'll sqeeze it all in once the kids are back at school and all the normal routines kick in....

There is a bit of me that feels - why do I need to do this? I've been artmaking for 25 or more years, I should beable to just get on with my stuff. But I've been very uninspired in 2016 to the point where art was one more chore I should do... So it's wonderful to feel inspired about art making, to be learning new techniques and approaches. I want to feel whole- hearted about doing the course and see where it takes me.

2017 is shaping up to be a year of change, there has been restructuring at work and I will be made redundant at the end of January. And my oldest son has been working and saving hard for a year now, and is planning to move down south in a couple of months time.

Lifebook may well be a lifeboat for me through these changes!!!

One of the blogs that inspired me to join Lifebook was Inky Dinky Doodle - do follow the link to see her post about her week one artworks.

Happy New Year 😊